UK Pensions: Half of self-employed people lack confidence in pensions, while many have received no form of advice on how to stash their cash for retirement

Hayley Kirton
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More than a quarter of self-employed people has never received pensions advice (Source: Getty)

Those who call themselves boss are snubbing private pensions because they neither trust nor understand them.

According to a report released today by Citizens Advice, half of self-employed people are not confident a private pension is a safe place to store their money for their golden years, with just 17 per cent opting to pay into a pension pot.

Meanwhile, more than a quarter have never received any form of pensions advice.

"A lack of information and understanding on how paying into a pension can provide an income in retirement means self-employed people are turning to other options to fund their future, with many people not saving enough," said Gillian Guy, chief executive of Citizens Advice.

"While property or cash savings may be viable options, people could also benefit from being in a pension scheme."

Read more: Pensions advice costs more than we're happy paying

In light of the report's findings, Citizens Advice is calling on government to improve the information available to self-employed people about their pension options.

It also suggested revamping the pensions system so that people could opt-in on their self-assessment tax return, reflecting how employed people now contribute to their retirement savings under the auto-enrolment rules, and having government match pension contributions of self-employed people up to one per cent of gross income.

"It is really important that self-employed people are offered up front information about how pensions can work for them so they can make an informed choice as to the best retirement savings plan," Guy continued.

"Paying into a pension also needs to be made easier and come with similar incentives for self-employed people as those currently enjoyed by employees."

Read more: Number of people who "will never retire" increases

Last month, Prudential released figures suggesting the proportion of self-employed people paying into a personal pension was even lower at just nine per cent – a dramatic fall from 34 per cent in the 2001/02 tax year.

However, Prudential also found that those who were still saving had boosted their average level of contributions in the the same time period, going from around £2,200 per year to just over £3,800 per year.

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